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Choreography: Frank Chaves

Music: Ernesto Lecuona, Carlos Puebla, Silvio Rodriguez, Moises Simons
Music Editing and Additional Sound Score: John Menella/ID Music
Costume Design: Jordan Ross

Costume Construction: Lynn Ziehe

Lighting Design: Christopher Ash


I. La Comparsa:
Dancers: Ensemble


II. Gitanerias:

Dancers: 3 couples

III. Hasta Siempre:

Dancers: 6


IV. La Era Está Pariendo Un Corazón:

Dancers: 6


V. Andalucia

Dancers: 4 couples

VI. EL Manisero:
Dancers: Ensemble

"...a bravura finish!"
 - Sid Smith, The Chicago Tribune, 2011

"...riveting, colorful and richly-seductive..."
- The Dance Journal/Philly, PA


Frank Chaves presents a tribute to his native Cuba. Inspired by, and dedicated to, Chaves’ father, Habaneras, is a vibrant full-company piece that celebrates Cuba's most popular composers, including Ernesto Lecuona, Carlos Puebla, and Silvio Rodríguez — music that has been a part of Chaves’ life since he was a child. 


"I would like to dedicate this piece to my father, for introducing my sisters and me to the arts and to the many joys and fulfillment that music can bring to the soul." –Frank Chaves


Habaneras, the Music of Cuba was commissioned for River North Dance Chicago by the Wharton Center for Performing Arts of Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.


Choreography generously underwritten by Marva Ryskiewicz and Mark Metzner. Women’s costumes generously underwritten by Dr. Jane Abramson. Additional support generously provided by Tita & Gene Zeffren.

In creating "Habaneras, the Music of Cuba," I was inspired by music that I had grown up with, primarily two albums that my father had played for us throughout our childhood - Percy Faith, Morton Gould and their respective orchestras. 

Both albums featured the music of Ernesto Lecuona, music composed in a classicaly style reminiscent o the movie musicals from the 1930s and 40s. The music was the springboard for this work; it has always been very near and dear to my heart and, althought I do not think of Cuba as my home (I left when only 6 months old), it does represent who I am. 

When I think of my "Cuban home," I think of my family; with "Habaneras, the Music of Cuba," I embrace and celebrate my heritage and pay homage to the closeness that I feel to my family and my pride in being Cuban. ​

Habaneras - excerpt

Habaneras - excerpt

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